Heavy Thoughts On Yom Yerushalayim

Photo by Yakov Ben Avraham. More photos here.
Joseph returns with his second dispatch from The Judean People’s Front, marking the occassion of Yom Yerushalayim:

In downtown West Jerusalem the festivities for Yom Yerushalayim began tonight with a parade through the streets. Included in the march are Yom Yerushalayim themed floats, including one from the Gaza settlements adorned with anti-disengagement orange, the color literally taken over by the settler movement in recent months. Towards the end of the procession, one group of kids march carrying Israeli flags and sparklers, another holds up placards with the names of their settlements. They are followed by a unit of soldiers with M-16’s marching in unison. Thousands stand by on Jaffa Street waving flags of their own; orange ribbons are tied to flag poles, wrists, and baby strollers; “Jerusalem of Gold” blasts from the loudspeakers. As I walk down to Damascus gate, the center of Palestinian Jerusalem, I see another group of Jewish settlers with large Israeli flags and lots of orange surrounded by a large police and army presence, marching around the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to assert their sovereignty over the city and dominance over the inhabitants. It’s as surreal as it gets: they have returned from exile, the ingathering has begun, this celebration marks the 38th anniversary of the reclaiming of East Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.

Read on…

16 thoughts on “Heavy Thoughts On Yom Yerushalayim

  1. Damascus Gate is not the “Center of Palestinian Jerusalem.” It’s half a block down from Jaffa Street – which runs along the Center of Jewish Jerusalem.
    Someone who thinks he’s in East Jerusalem when he’s at the Damascus Gate is either ignorant about his whereabouts, or trying to manipulate people with dishonest reporting.
    I don’t see why celebrating the unified Jerusalem – the reaon for Yom Yerushalayim in the first place – by carrying flags and wearing orange has to be interpreted as “asserting their sovereignty over the city and dominance over the inhabitants.” Jews and Arabs are all under the same government. No one has “dominance” over the other.
    Posts like these are indeed “as surreal as it gets” – and way too fucking cynical. Can anyone do anything without some dickhead trying to politicize it?

  2. “Center of Palestinian Jerusalem?”
    You must be kidding. How can you read that with a straight face.
    How about, “Center of Palestinian Jerusalem ever since the ancient Jewish community inhabiting the Old City of Jerusalem and having been its majority at one point, was completely and entirely evicted by the Jordanians and local Arabs who then displaced them.”
    How about, “Center of Palestinian Judenrein Jerusalem?”
    How about we stop reading at that point in the article and roll our eyes at yet another wacko.

  3. i believe he’s inferring that the area around al aqsa is the center of religious and cultural life for palestinian muslims. there’s nothing inaccurate about that statement.

  4. If he were inferring that the area around the mosque is the center of religious and cultural life for Palestinan Muslims, he would have said so. I believe he was trying to mislead people into thinking that those evil Jews, not content to celebrate in their own areas, felt compelled by some evil urge to celebrate in Palestinian-only areas in order to prove how strong the evil Jews are and how weak the Palestinians are.
    Damascus Gate is no closer to the Temple Mount than the Jaffa Gate. And the Old City is no more the religious and cultural center for Muslims than it is for Jews.
    You have your opinion. I have mine.
    But what gets me about this whole thing is not only the cynicism behind it, but also the spitefulness with which he reports his observations. You could just feel the hate mounting with every line.
    For every group of Jewish kids who let their joy overflow to areas they would be wiser to stay away from, there is always some sleaze with his pencil out waiting to record it and braodcast it to the world – all for the sake of the Jews, of course.
    And the Gaza people did not “literally take over” the color orange. It remains orange as ever, just as the color green remains green despite its adoption by Muslims as the color of their religion. Saying it the way the schmuk does above is just another attempt to paint people in an evil light.
    Stay away from hatemongers like these. They will only bring ruin to those who come near them.

  5. I believe he was trying to mislead people into thinking that those evil Jews, not content to celebrate in their own areas, felt compelled by some evil urge to celebrate in Palestinian-only areas in order to prove how strong the evil Jews are and how weak the Palestinians are.
    uh, well… i mean; it wouldn’t be the first time i’ve seen or heard of such behavior to be quite honest. the problem is your polarization of the issue. by marking it up in contentious language, you demonize the message, which is hardly as hateful as you’ve read it and reprojected it. it says way more about you and your sensitivity than it does about the author and his feelings.
    the author, by the way, is my former flatmate, a rabbinical student, and an observant jew.

  6. I think more people would read the post like I did than as you did.
    To be honest, though, my language was indeed too strong. But I don’t think I was polarizing the issue. I am only responding to what’s written in front of me. If the writer chooses to see everything in extremely cynical terms, don’t be surprised if people call him a cynic.
    I would take back the last line of my previous post, not because he’s a flatmate, student, or observant Jew, but because the word hatemonger is simply too strong. At the same time, he clearly hates everything Israeli he sees around him. For all the criticism, there is not a word of praise or understanding.
    He may not be a hatemonger, but lets not pretend he’s fair and balanced either. He has a political agenda, and he’s not afraid of exploiting and twisting to reach a phony conclusion.

  7. If you get a chance to be in the Gush Dan area, take a look at the drivers with the orange ribbons on their antennas. Most of them are non-religious.

  8. while we sit and quibble over which streets are leagaly ours, and which are righttfuly Arab, or while we quibble over the use of the color orange. The enemy sits and plots new ways to kill us all. “Democracy is the worst kind of govternment……exzcep t for any other!”….)Winston Churchhil. We must agree to disagree. Just because you don’t believe the state does not have religious implications, does not negate my right to so believe and practice my religieon in my country. Just as I accept your rights to be secular, you should take my beliefs into account, recognize that democracy only functions by compromise and the settlment policies originated 30 years ago, are facts of life. We must find common ground to maintian a unified front or the uncompromising fanatics will end all debate. (read the life story of Haj ameain al Husieni or the Algerian war to find out about the fate of the Arab moderate movement) Ps. Rav Kook spoke about the messainic implications of the state looooong before Rav Gornen’s famous “tekiah.”

  9. mobi getting it wrong again:
    i believe he’s inferring that the area around al aqsa is the center of religious and cultural life for palestinian muslims. there’s nothing inaccurate about that statement.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    By population, the Arab presence in the Old City is dwarfed by the Ramallah corridor and the corridor from Silwan to Bethlehem.
    The Damascus gate is spitting distance from the route of the first “apartheid wall” established by the Jordanians – who liquidated the (age-old) Jewish presence in east Jerusalem and the old city.
    The major road leading to the Damascus gate is flanked by non-Arab buildings, some dating back to the German Templars in the 1800s.
    Any Jews marching past the Damascus gate are hardly imposing themselves on a Palestinian neighborhood.

  10. Via Yahoo News:
    Police disperse Palestinians at Jerusalem mosque compound Mon Jun 6,10:42 AM ET
    JERUSALEM (APF) – Police stormed into Jerusalem’s disputed mosque compound after hundreds of Palestinians threw stones at a group of visiting Jews as Israel commemorated its capture of the entire holy city.
    Police said trouble flared when a group of Israelis began a guided tour of the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which also shelters the Dome of the Rock, and is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount.
    “A small Jewish group of about 10 to 15 people started a tour. Hundreds of young Palestinians came out of the mosque and started throwing stones at the Jewish group,” a spokesman said Monday.
    Some protestors removed their belts and tried to hit the Israelis before police broke into the compound and fired off stun grenades.
    “One Palestinian was arrested when he tried to hit the Jews with stones and two Israelis were hurt and taken to medical treatment,” said the spokesman.
    Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas denounced what he called unwarranted violations of the sacred site. Police banned all visits to the compound.
    “We are used to this. The Israeli government and the international community must put an end to these serious and unjustified violations that risk reaping regrettable consequences,” Abbas told reporters in Ramallah.
    Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei lashed out at what he called a “horde of extremist and criminal settlers” who “attacked Al-Aqsa and stormed the esplanade, so the (Palestinian) residents of Jerusalem defended themselves”.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    1) Ten Jews on a plaza that regularly sees dozens of half-naked German tourists are a “horde” and a “provocation”.
    2) Jewish presence at THE central Jewish holy site is an “unjustified violation” – not sure of what. But is sounds good, and gets repeated enough to invalidate Jewish connection to the site.
    … and we are supposed to wring our hands over Jews marching peacefully in the streets of Jerusalem?

  11. It has been a long time since I’ve read such a biased post.
    In any case, can you ask the religious “rabbinical student” if the Bible specifies a “West” and “East” Jerusalem?
    P.S. I wonder what it’s like to live as a Jew who is afraid of his own shadow. Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, and Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life during the first and second Temple period.
    Tell the rabbinical student that Abu Dis has cheaper rent. He can also halachically pray in a mosque – so he won’t miss his daily prayers.

  12. poll out today in Israel reporting that support for the expulsion plan is down to 48$ now.
    Yesterday, a classified memo written by Israel National Security Advisor Giora Island was ‘leaked’ to the press. In it he states that the whole plan is a ‘bardak’ and that that’s the image coming across in the media (who actually are doing their best to support it).
    Today, Sharon called a press conference to show that there is no ‘bardak’ and that all government ministries are progressing well, and that all settlers will be compensated fairly. Agricultural Minister Yisrael Katz, wasn’t invited, and said afterwards that the Gush Katif farmers are screwed because no one is suggesting anything for them now. He also said that the press conference was just for show.
    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    the plan is falling apart at the seams. It’s just not going to happen, legally at least. If Sharon is really insane, he will impose martial law on the whole country (as Ehud Barak has been suggesting behind the scenes) and wipe up the mess and throw the folks in refugee camps. I hope not, for the sanity of the entire Jewish nation.

  13. We can declare it’s ours till the cows come home. Doesnt change the fact that 1/3 of E Jerusalem’s residents are Palestinian, and that all Palestinians consider East Jerusalem to be their cultural, political and religious capital. Though only 1.3% of the total land mass of the West Bank, it provided 40% of the pre-intifada economy. Now, with it cut off by the wall, families from their land, families from each other, divorced from a future state by international high-tech terminals being feverishly built in Qalandiah, and Bethlehem. As Danny Rubenstein points out, the Palestinians can comprise on refugees, border corrections, but none believe two states is possible w/out E. Jerusalem. No two states, mean one state. Is taht what you want, or should we abandon democracy, maybe just drive them out? http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/s

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